Should We Just Settle? Or Hold Out for Having It All?

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The idea of 'having it all' is appealing for many people...but is it time to realize that perhaps settling should be incorporated into 'it all'?

Wonderwoman can bake too...

Photo: clevercupcakes via Flikr

Wonderwoman can bake too...

I read a book review the other day from the New York Times on the book Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough by Lori Gottlieb…it got me thinking to say the least. I’m certainly going to have to pick up the book and read the whole thing for myself – and maybe I should have saved my blog post until after that – but I just couldn’t wait! So here are my thoughts based on the premise as I understand it now.

Settling

The idea of settling has a negative connotation attached to it in my mind. Talking to single women, I often hear that most are specifically avoiding settling. As the woman in this video says, settling is “settling for reality, rather than for a fairytale”….well, okay. But still, doesn’t settling just sound so, I don’t know, settled?!

In an interview with Dr. Gottelib on the book, she states that “if [she’d] known ten years ago what [she] knew now about what would be important in [her] life, [she] would have made very different choices with men.” Gottelib makes the case, successfully might I add, that many women end up alone because they hold men up to such high standards. This may be true…I don’t know many single twenty-something women who don’t have a list of criteria they’d like their potential mate to possess. But I’ve always thought it was good to know what you want. No?!

Having it all

Knowing what you want can be very empowering, and getting what you want even more so. Being raised with the feminist ideals of thinking that we can have it all (whatever that may be…) has potentially resulted in less than empowering experiences stemmed from years of disappointment.

I would really like to continue to think that we (women) can have it all…whatever that may be. I look forward to reading this book and gaining more insight into the idea of “settling” from Dr. Gottelib’s perspective. I’ll be sure to blog about it….so stay tuned!

Kristen Mark, PhD, MPH

completed her PhD in Health Behavior and her MPH in Biostatistics, both at Indiana University. Kristen is an Assistant Professor in Health Promotion at University of Kentucky. Kristen's research focuses on sexual pleasure, sexuality in long term relationships, sexual function, and women's sexuality.
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